YSU's new personnel director has an extensive Air Force service background.
By RON COLE
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- When Hugh Chatman arrived at Central State University two years ago, the biggest challenge was building trust.
The historically black school in Wilberforce had undergone tremendous financial and political turmoil; suspicion, skepticism and doubt lingered across campus, particularly among employees.
As director of human resources, Chatman's job was to restore faith.
"We've been able to foster a very good working relationship, one of cooperation and respect," Chatman said about CSU's labor relations two years later.
"I hope to bring that same thing to Youngstown."
Stepping in: Chatman will become Youngstown State University's executive director of human resources and labor relations Sept. 15, and one of his chief duties will be dealing with the university's four employee unions.
Two of the unions, the faculty and classified staff, will negotiate new contracts next year.
YSU President David Sweet said he was surprised by the mistrust and horrible state of management-labor relations on campus when he became president a year ago. In April, he met with union leaders in what he dubbed a labor summit to begin mending fences.
Dr. G.L. Mears, YSU executive vice president, said Chatman's success with employee unions at CSU is one of the many reasons he was named to the post.
"He has a great personality, and he seems to be a very genuine sort of person," Mears said. "Everyone I talked to said he's a very open sort of person. He's very forthcoming. He doesn't have any hidden agendas.
"In other words, he has all of the good qualities you want in an employee."
Putting team together: Chatman's appointment, made after a four-month search that attracted 53 applicants, is the latest in Sweet's continued efforts to piece together an administrative team.
He will replace Jean Wainio, who has been interim head of the personnel office and did not seek the permanent position. Chatman's salary will be $82,000 annually.
Chatman spent 28 years in the Air Force before retiring in June 1999, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. A native of Canton, Chatman had 14 different assignments in his 28-year career.
"We've moved around quite a bit, so this is very convenient," he said.
Before going to CSU, he was director of human resources at the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. He also was human resources director for the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson.